General Education

The General Education program at Seattle Pacific University consists of 71 credits distributed in two areas, the Common Curriculum and the Exploratory Curriculum. Additionally, as part of General Education (GE), students are required to:

  • Fulfill a Cultural Understanding and Engagement (CUE) requirement of at least 3 credits
  • Complete a capstone course within their major.

These pages provide information about the GE program including general descriptions, sequencing, outcomes, requirements, and course applications, where appropriate.

Questions about the GE program? Contact Andrew Ryder, PhD, at or 206-281-2238.

Common Curriculum

The Common Curriculum has nine required courses spread over four years, as shown below. These courses are designed to help students develop critical academic skills, to understand and engage our multicultural and complex world, and to embrace the Christian story.

With the exception of the major capstone course, each course includes common texts and student learning outcomes. All courses, with exception of the University Colloquium (1 credit) and the major capstone (2–5 credits) are 5 credits.

All departments and faculty are invited to contribute sections to the University Colloquium and Writing 1100. These section descriptions are solicited Winter Quarter for the next academic year by the director of general education. Faculty new to teaching WRI 1100 are required to complete training with the Director of Campus Writing before teaching in the program. These contributions do not require the submission of a Course Change form in Sharepoint.

Common Curriculum Courses

First Year

  • University Colloquium
  • Writing 1000
  • Writing 1100
  • University Foundations 1000

Second Year

  • University Foundations 2000
  • University Core 2000

Third Year

  • University Foundations 3100
  • University Core 3000

Fourth Year

  • Capstone in the major

University Colloquium

A 1-credit, 8-week, Credit / No-credit course that introduces students to what university work is like, available resources, and the goals of a Christian liberal arts education. Taken by all students entering directly from high school in fall quarter.


Students complete WRI 1000 (offered Autumn and Winter quarters) and WRI 1100 (offered Winter and Spring quarters) in adjacent quarters of their first year.

Questions about writing programs at SPU? Contact the Director of Campus Writing Traynor Hansen, PhD, at or 206-281-2403.

University Foundations and Core courses

These courses are taught by faculty in designated schools and departments. University Foundations courses are organized and taught by the School of Theology. UCOR 2000 is the province of the History Department, and UCOR 3000 the Philosophy Department. Click the links below for the catalog entries for these programs:

Exploratory Curriculum

Students are required to complete 35 credits in the Exploratory Curriculum, comprised of Ways of Knowing (six categories) and Ways of Engaging (deeper exploration of one of the ways of knowing). Students are not required to complete these courses during a specific year, but many choose to complete them early in their educational process.

Faculty may apply for their courses to have one of the Ways of Knowing or Ways of Engaging attributes via the Course and Curriculum change process, managed by the Curriculum Committees and the Office of the Registrar in the first part of Fall quarter.

Cultural Understanding and Engagement (CUE)

Students are required to complete one course, minimum three credits, with the CUE attribute. Faculty are encouraged to apply for CUE attribute for appropriate courses using the curriculum change process indicated above.


Our Core Themes

Seattle Pacific University’s adopted three core themes to guide us in the coming years — regarding academics, student experience, identity and purpose, resources, and operations.